Middle East

Iraq summons Swedish ambassador over Quran burning

Freedom of expression does not justify insulting of religious sanctities, says Iraqi Foreign Ministry

Haydar Karaalp  | 30.06.2023 - Update : 30.06.2023
Iraq summons Swedish ambassador over Quran burning


The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador on Thursday to protest the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, by an extremist in Stockholm.

In a statement, the ministry notified Jessica Svardstrom of Iraq's strong protest over the permission of her government for an extremist to burn a copy of the Quran.

The ministry also demanded that the Swedish government take the necessary legal steps to stop such practices while stressing that freedom of expression does not justify the insulting of religious sanctities.

Earlier on Thursday, scores of Iraqi protesters stormed the courtyard of the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad to express their outrage over the incident.

According to the local daily Baghdad Today, the protesters were able to break open the embassy's gate and enter the compound.

The Iraqi official news agency INA reported that the protesters raised copies of the Quran "to confirm Muslims' pride in the holy Quran and to reject the disgraceful act that took place in the Swedish capital after the government authorized a demonstration" to burn a copy of the Quran.

The news agency added that the protest was organized in response to a call by powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

On Wednesday, a person identified as Salwan Momika burned a copy of the Muslim holy book under police protection in front of Stockholm Mosque.

The extremist's provocative act was timed to coincide with Eid al-Adha, one of the major Islamic religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide.

The crime of burning the Quran elicited widespread condemnation from the Islamic world, including Türkiye, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Senegal, Morocco and Mauritania.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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